My project, the boss and bear claws – aka the best week ever.

Hi folks!

This past week at Elsewhere whizzed by! My project is a re-invention of the library cart! This little nook on wheels is a part of a “traveling menagerie” (see here). But its home is in the ceiling-high living library of elsewhere. It has a puppet theatre, shelves for books and a bench with cushions for lounging. A seriously day-dream gem of a spot!

Here are some pictures of the cart before I began my work:

photo of library cart at elsewhere cooperative
Front of cart with puppet theatre
photo of library cart at elsewhere, greensboro
Back of cart with bench and bookshelves

So, I’m imagining Elsewhere as an indoor park, which it really is in so many ways. I’m drawing upon my past as a park guide, interpreter and naturalist and drawing upon the wild aspects in elsewhere to make this space sing.

My first step was to strip it of the miscellaneous fabric and pictures that were haphazardly fastened to it, fill its nicks with putty and sand it down with help from the building curator, tool-wielding diva extraordinaire Jen.

jessie dodington sanding a cart at elsewhere greensboro, nc
Power sander!

This is where I have to take a moment to tell you I’m wearing an inside-out Bruce Springsteen t-shirt that I bought at his recent concert in Greensboro. That’s right folks. I saw the boss in concert and my life is now complete. (Mother, my shirt is inside out on purpose, to protect it from getting paint on it of course.)

Meanwhile I’m collecting books and items from elsewhere’s collection for display and contextualization on my cart.

It’s been a great week and I’m happy to say It only got better when I came to use the internet at the Green Bean coffee shop. Here I discovered they have bear claw pastries – quite a favorite treat of mine from Saturdays at the farmers’ Market growing up.

eating a bear claw pastry
Mmmm. bear claw.

Have a happy Monday everyone!

My residency at the “thinking playground” begins…

I’ve begun my five week artist residency at Elsewhere in Greensboro, NC!

elsewhere door sign
Front Door sign at Elsewhere

The day after I arrived was March Fourteenth (3.14) and so it was Pi day and we were served pies. Tables were appropriately decorated with paper mache pies.

Everyone signs up to be in charge of a dinner in pairs or threes. Following pi night, myself and two others prepared a traditional polish meal complete with poppy-seed cake and miniature polish flags to garnish the pierogis.

A typical kitchen scene at elsewhere:

picture of communal kitchen at Elsewhere
Kitchen Commons

Other things you will see around elsewhere…
a heart made of shoes on the ceiling:

heart made of shoes

an evening public talk held at the storefront with the windows open to the fresh night air so passers-by can listen in, (check out current elsewhere events calendar here)

artist talk at elsewhere storefront
Stephanie gives her welcome talk at Elsewhere storefront
a storefront talk at elsewhere
setting up for a storefront talk at elsewhere

Jordan having a moment with a plush toy:

a seal on a person's head
communing with seals

the elsewhere bike surrey:

bike surrey in greensboro nc
the elsewhere 6 seater bike surrey

elsewherians in the bike surrey:

elsewhere bike surrey
a lot of fun!

Stay tuned for more explorations and discoveries at elsewhere, as well as progress updates on my project.

New Gallery on Website

Hi Folks,

Just a little post to let you know I uploaded works from my latest show, “Sleeping in the Forest, Waking in the Desert” into a new page on my website. Go see them all together here.
Cheers!

photo of paintings in oil and watercolour
Sleeping in the Forest, Waking in the Desert screen shot

Wouldn’t you like to be Elsewhere?

Here is a postcard I made recently to accompany a residency application to Elsewhere in Greensboro, NC. Check it out, it looks like a fabulous place. Oh, and wish me luck!

Here is the front of my postcard:

hand drawn postcard
Elsewhere, mixed media on paper, 5 x 6"

And here is the back:

back of hand drawn postcard
Back of postcard, mixed media on paper, 5 x 6"

Doggy paddle

Hello again!

It has been a while since I’ve posted and I told myself “no excuses” today, so hello. Here I am.

I feel like I’ve been doing the doggy paddle (the very inefficient yet endearing swimming stroke of K9s and young children) in the art department for a while. That is to say, not much has been happening in terms of painting, yet I am still reading a lot (which I consider research in a way), and exploring many new avenues of creation:

I have taught myself how to sew (sorry Mom, I forgot whatever you taught me when I was 12 and have had to re-learn it all) and made a few projects. Here is a decent sized “market bag”:

photo of sewn market bag
"Market Bag"
photo of sewn bag lining
Seam-less lining, Oh my!
photo of squared corner
Squared corner, ooh la la!

These were brand new skills people, hence the excitement expressed in the captions.

In addition to sewing I have been knitting up a storm. I picked up knitting last October and upon reaching my first year anniversary of knitting decided to step it up a notch. I’ve since made several intricate (to me) shawls and socks and am presently working on my first sweater.

The “sugared violets” shawl (that is the name of the pattern from the designer Rose Beck) I made to wear at the closing reception of a student art show I juried at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU). The second shawl pictured is “herbivore” by Stephen West and I made it to wear at the closing reception of my solo art show at the ENMU art gallery. I will obviously be wearing them all the time now, and they are reminders of those fun events.

photo of knit shawls
Two recent shawls: "sugared violets" and "herbivore"

I’ve also started screen printing. This is a really neat method of creating multiple prints on fabric.

The process involves:
1. Creating a screen: I used a sheer fabric held tight in an embroidery hoop. I drew a design on the screen in pencil and applied outdoor house paint to all the spots I didn’t want the ink to go through. I applied multiple coats and let the screen dry.

silkscreen image ready
homemade silkscreen

2. Next I chose the objects I wished to print on (pictured in the photo is a pillowcase but I also printed on tank tops etc.)

3. I placed the screen on the items I wanted to print, making sure to lay cardboard inside of them (so the image didn’t bleed through to the other side of the fabric) and used a foam brush to push the screen printing ink through the screen.
Voila:

floral screen printing image
Floral screen print on pillowcase

All in all I’ve been enjoying these new arts/crafts and am excited about what I can make as my skills develop!

Last but not least, I’ve been occupied in the University Singers choir on campus, preparing for our Christmas concert which was Friday the 9th. We did two performances and had very full, very enthusiastic audiences. It was such a blast I simply cannot wait until next semester’s new lineup of songs! I’ll try to post before our next performance so those of you who are local can try to attend.

I’m not sure if I’ll be painting or drawing that much in the coming month, as there will be travel involved and crafted presents I’d like to finish making but perhaps in the new year my painting and drawing will progress back into a front-crawl or breast-stroke pace… we’ll see. For now you’re stuck with doggy paddle… which is at least a step up from treading water.

As always, thank you for reading and take care of yourselves during this holiday season!

Closing reception of “Sleeping in the Forest, Waking in the Desert”

It’s been a busy few weeks for me and I’m glad to be back to the blog.

I enjoyed a lovely closing reception at Runnels Gallery on Friday and want to thank everyone who came out to see the art and show their support in general. I really appreciated the feedback and great turnout.

I have some pictures of the evening to share with you!

First, there was the food (That is warmed caramel dip… mmm)!

art show reception

Although we didn’t manage to document all the goodies, we couldn’t miss the crazy cupcakes!

art show reception

There were so many great people who attended (and yes, I am poised to devour this cupcake)…

art show reception
art show reception
art show reception
art show reception

…and there was discussion of some alternate hilarious interpretations of the art:

art show reception

The guest book filled up…

art show reception

and the art was appreciated by all ages…

art show reception
art show reception

almost as much as the cupcakes! 😉

art show reception

Keeping busy

With fewer posts up the past few weeks you’re probably wondering what I’ve been up to. As the sole juror to an upcoming exhibition: Simulare Vitae, Student Juried Exhibition which will be on display from November 1st to December 2nd at Runnels Gallery, I’ve been quite busy going through submissions! With over one hundred entries it’s been quite a difficult decision-making process.

I will remind you closer to the date but just so you know, the reception and awards ceremony for Simulare Vitae is Friday, Dec. 2, 5–6:30 p.m.

In other news I’ve put that new sewing room to good use recently and made my first bag:

photograph of hand holding drawstring knitting bag
Project Bag made of an old sweater, fabric and a button
photograph of interior of handmade sewn project bag
Lining
photograph of interior of handmade sewn project bag
Interior

Taking a break

I’m taking a wee break from the painting to knit. Yes indeed, got to let the tight muscles of my upper back and shoulders rest a bit and enjoying a stay-cation for a few days. Right now I plan on wearing the shawl I’m making (pictured here beside some chamomile tea) to the closing reception of my present exhibition.

Reminder for those who are in the area: the closing reception is Friday, October, 28th  5 – 6:30 at Runnel’s Gallery.

picture of tea and knitting
Tea and Knitting, photograph